Mandarin


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Mandarin

(măn`dərĭn) [Port. mandar=to govern, or from Malay mantri=counselor of state], a high official of imperial China. For each of the nine grades there was a different colored button worn on the dress cap. Mandarin Chinese was the language spoken by the official class and was based on the Beijing dialect. A version of Mandarin Chinese, known as putonghua [common language], is now taught throughout the country, and it is the official national language. A first or second language for roughly half the nation's population, it is widely spoken in native Chinese regions except along the southeastern coast, where the Cantonese, Fukienese, and Shanghai languages (considered by some to be Chinese dialects) are dominant. See ChineseChinese,
subfamily of the Sino-Tibetan family of languages (see Sino-Tibetan languages), which is also sometimes grouped with the Tai, or Thai, languages in a Sinitic subfamily of the Sino-Tibetan language stock.
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Mandarin

 

the name given by the Portuguese to officials (Chinese, kuari) in feudal China. The word has passed from Portuguese into Russian and Western European languages; it is not used in contemporary Soviet and foreign scholarly literature.


Mandarin

 

a subtropical fruit-bearing evergreen plant of the genus Citrus of the family Rutaceae. Some botanists believe that all forms of the mandarin belong to one species—Citrus reticulata; others distinguish up to 13 species of mandarins, including C. unshiu, C. chrysocarpa, C. deliciosa, C. nobilis, and C. leicocarpa.

The most common species of mandarin is C. unshiu, which is a tree measuring 3 m tall (at age 20-25 years) and having a crown 3-3.5 m in diameter. The branches have no thorns, and the leaves are large, leathery, sometimes crimped, and oval. The flowers are quite large and bisexual; their petals have a large number of ester glandules. The fruits, which usually have no seeds and are formed parthenocarpally, are oblate or depressed-pear-shaped, sometimes with an extended neck. They weigh between 60 and 80 g. The skin is orange and is easily separated from the pulp, which is bright orange and juicy and consists of eight to ten easily separating segments. The juice contains 2.87-10.5 percent sugars, 0.95-1.0 percent acids (mainly citric), and 23-55 mg percent vitamin C. The fruits are used primarily in fresh form; they are sometimes used to make juice, jam, preserves, and compote. The peel, which is rich in pectins, essential oils, and glycosides, is used in the confectionery industry; it is also used in the perfume and food-processing industries for its essential oils.

C. unshiu is distinguished from other citrus plants by its resistance to frost. At a temperature of — 6.5°C the leaves freeze, and at — 12°C the tree dies. The plants grow best on soils that are rich in lime and humus. The trees have two or three periods of growth, which alternate with rest periods. Fruiting begins the fourth year after budding (bud grafting). The harvest of fruits from ten-year-old to 12-year-old trees is up to 50 tons per hectare.

C. unshiu is cultivated in a number of countries, including Japan and the People’s Republic of China. In the USSR the principal plantings of mandarins are concentrated in the moist subtropical regions of the Black Sea coast of the Caucasus. Varieties of C. unshiu are most widely cultivated; there are small plantings of the varieties Kovano-Vaze, Sil’verkhil, Sochi 23, and Pioner 80. Mandarins are propagated by budding or, less frequently, by scion. The principal stock is the trifoliate orange.

In the USSR, the species C. deliciosa is grown in small numbers. It is a small tree or bush with a very dense crown. The branches have thorns. The fruits are medium-sized and depressed-globose. The pulp has a distinctive fragrance and is sweet, but less tasty than C. unshiu. The species C. leicocarpa has small tart fruits. It can be used as an ornamental and for breeding (because of its frost resistance).

REFERENCES

Gutiev, G. T. Subtropicheskie plodovye rasteniia. Moscow, 1958.
Zhukovskii, P. M. Kul’turnye rasteniia iikh sorodichi, 3rd ed. Leningrad, 1971.

F. M. ZORIN

mandarin

[′man·də·rən]
(botany)
A large and variable group of citrus fruits in the species Citrus reticulata and some of its hybrids; many varieties of the trees are compact with willowy twigs and small, narrow, pointed leaves; includes tangerines, King oranges, Temple oranges, and tangelos.

mandarin

1. (in the Chinese Empire) a member of any of the nine senior grades of the bureaucracy, entered by examinations
2. a high-ranking official whose powers are extensive and thought to be outside political control

mandarin

a. a small citrus tree, Citrus nobilis, cultivated for its edible fruit
b. the fruit of this tree, resembling the tangerine
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